Launch Slideshow

running cedar, orlean, va.

custom / more than 3,500 square feet / merit

running cedar, orlean, va.

custom / more than 3,500 square feet / merit

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    Paul Burk Photography

    A fieldstone wall links the main house (right side) and guesthouse of this rural Piedmont property and defines an edge of the rear gardens.

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    Paul Burk Photography

    A courtyard garden extends the living room and overlooks river rapids 60 feet below.

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    Roger Foley

    The formal gardens coexist peacefully with the property's wilder edges.

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    Roger Foley

    A pergola and pea-gravel terrace, often set for dining, links the main house and guesthouse.

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    Paul Burk Photography

    Outside the dining room, an alley of hawthorn trees culminates in a blue urn.

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    Richard Williams Architects

    The project's site plan. This country property, more than a mile from the main road, evokes an Italian villa with its simple gables and formal relationship between the house and layered gardens.

richard williams architects, washington, d.c.

The architect and the owner, a landscape architect, worked in tandem from day one of this project—and it shows. Perched on the edge of a river gorge, the house and guesthouse align from south to north and are linked by a stone wall that serves as a spine. In between, overlapping interior and exterior spaces keep the lush setting front and center.

“We'd flip things back and forth until we found a nice balance between the formality of the house and this pretty rough and rambunctious landscape,” says Richard Williams, AIA. “We looked at vernacular forms, stretching the dimensions to a point where it seemed spacious but never out of scale.”

One judge said the design “elevates the mundane Virginia farmhouse, yet does so with a complete lack of pretension.”

principal in charge: Richard Williams, AIA, Richard Williams Architects
project architect: Timothy Abrams, AIA, LEED AP, Richard Williams Architects
general contractor: Gretchen Yahn, Castlerock Enterprises, Hume, Va.
landscape architect: Richard Arentz, ASLA, Arentz Landscape Architects, Washington, D.C.
interior designer: José Solis, Solis Betancourt, Washington, D.C.
project size: 5,700 square feet (main house), 700 square feet (guesthouse)
site size: 85 acres
construction cost: $297 per square foot
photography: Paul Burk Photography, except where noted.

product specs
bathroom fittings: Kohler Co.; bathroom fixtures: Hansgrohe;dishwasher: Miele; doors: TruStile Doors; garage doors: Clopay Building Products; garbage disposer: In-Sink-Erator; hardware: HOPPE North America; hvac equipment: Carrier Corp.; kitchen fittings: Franke Consumer Products; kitchen fixtures: Dornbracht Americas; lighting fixtures: Lightolier; oven/range: DCS by Fisher & Paykel; paints/stains/wall finishes: Benjamin Moore & Co.; refrigerator: Sub-Zero; skylights/roof windows: VELUX A/S; windows: Loewen